A client once told me there was no need seeking his wife's opinion on some spaces when it comes to the new house I was to design for him.
"I am the Man of the House -- it his my house," he said.
I gave out a little smile, and he wondered why it was necessary -- if there was something I was willing to share with him.
"Sir, who does most of your cooking?"
"My wife does the cooking -- I don't know how to cook."
I smiled again, and my smile even became more prominent when I remembered Chris Rock's Comedy, where he said this:
" The only man who owns a house is a single man. If you're married or in a relationship, it ain't your house."
Well, I didn't want to approach it from the perspective of the comedian, so I simply made my client understand that the satisfaction of every member of the family should be put into consideration -- especially his wife's.
"Madame could want a kitchentte upstairs, and you should ask her."
"I only want a kitchen downstairs -- I don't want a kitchenette upstairs."
"Madame needs a walk-in closet in her room -- you know women like ngwongwo(luggage)"
"Just put one room for two of us. Mu na my wife will share one room, and share wardrobe. One room for my boys. One room for my girls. Then put visitor's room downstairs. Inugo?"
I knew it wasn't about money -- he could afford it -- and I didn't want him to have regrets after everything. So, I still advised him to speak with madame -- at least accord her the respect.
"My job is not only to design your house. My job is to give you a home -- something you won't regret afterwards. But kama iga emem misunderstand (instead of you to misunderstand me) I'll do what you want."
We ended the meeting with him making me give up additional ideas. He was a well-travelled businessman, and I wondered why he wanted it that way.
I proceeded with the design.
Two days later, he called me around 10pm in the Night. He was with madame.
When I picked up, I just heard this:
"Architect Biko tinye ma kitchenette; ma Madame's bedroom; ma walk-in closet; ma..(Architect please put kitchenette; also put Madame's bedroom; even walk-in closet; even ..)"
Then he asked his wife "mummy kedu nke ozo?(mummy, what's the name of the other one?)"
You could hear madame on the background saying "Utility room."
When we had a meeting the following day, he told me how his wife said "soso gi ga-ebi n'ulo ahu(only you will live in the house)"
He had to give in to her demands
"Hapu ife man of the house ahu(leave that man of the house thing)" he said, with the same mouth.
"Nya, okwa fa nwe uno(That is, they're the ones that own the house)" he added.
Below was me while we were both laughing at the issue, especially the fact that he had to call her "mummy" like one obedient child.
He learnt about respect, and need for a wife's consent in certain things.